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Monte Cristi Province

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Monte Cristi
Coastline of Monte Cristi
Coastline of Monte Cristi
Coat of arms of Monte Cristi
Location of the Monte Cristi Province
Location of the Monte Cristi Province
Country Dominican Republic
Province since1879
CapitalSan Fernando de Monte Cristi
 • TypeSubdivisions
 • Body6 municipalities
4 municipal districts
 • Congresspersons1 Senator
2 Deputies
 • Total1,924.35 km2 (743.00 sq mi)
 • Total150,833
 • Density78/km2 (200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-4 (EST)
Area code1-809 1-829 1-849
ISO 3166-2DO-15
Postal Code62000

Monte Cristi (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmonte ˈkɾisti]) is a province in the northwest of the Dominican Republic. The capital city is San Fernando de Monte Cristi (usually simply Monte Cristi). The spelling Montecristi is also seen. The Montecristi province is located in the Cibao frontier region, on the north coast of the country and borders the nation of Haiti. The land area of the Montecristi province is 1,924.35 km2. It is divided into six municipalities and four municipal districts.[1]

Montecristi is where the Duarte Highway ends, which runs through the country from South to North from the city of Santo Domingo. Additionally, the province has a network of secondary roads that interconnect the city of San Fernando de Montecristi with the other municipalities and surrounding provinces.



Monte Cristi was founded by Nicolás de Ovando in 1506 and populated in 1533 by Juan de Bolaños and 63 families from the Canary Islands. These migrated to various parts of the country afterwards leaving the town behind. It was later repopulated and became a wealthy port in the mid-to-late 16th century.

Montecristi town museum.

During the 1600s the coast of Montecristi was a hotbed of pirate activity in the Caribbean. In 1756 the city became a prosperous trading center, until the early 20th century. [2] Monte Cristi had a boom period in the last quarter of the 1800s.

The town was at the forefront in many of the advances including the first aqueduct, first railroad and telephone. The great task of diverting the course of the Yaque del Norte River was undertaken, which had lost its initial course when the cataclysm of 1802. The town attracted people not only from Santo Domingo, Santiago, Puerto Plata and other communities, but also foreigners (English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Americans, South Americans and islanders from the other Antilles).

Church of Montecristi, Dominican Republic.
Montecristi in 1906.

In 1895, it was the site of the signing of the Manifesto of Montecristi by Máximo Gómez and José Martí, at the Gómez home on Mella St. They sailed from "La Granja" beach, also in Montecristi, to Cuba to fight for its independence.

The economic decline of Monte Cristi began with the decrease in the demand for raw materials in Europe, difficulties of the Casa Jiménez, which the dictator Ulises Hereaux forced to escape from the hands of his political rival, Juan Isidro Jiménez, and then the problems derived from World War I.


Morro de Montecristi.

The Montecristi province limits to the North with the Atlantic Ocean: to the South with the provinces Dajabón and Santiago Rodríguez; to the East with the Valverde province and to the West with the Atlantic Ocean and the Republic of Haiti. The Montecristi province is fundamentally an immense plain with many hills. El Morro, with an approximate height of 237 meters, is one of the characteristic symbols of Montecristeno relief. It is a solitary elevation, in the form of a plateau.

Clock-tower of Montecristi.

The Yaque del Norte River, the largest in the country, empties into the Montecristi Bay after making a long journey of 296 kilometers from the rugged Central Mountain Range. Three important rivers in the province join the Yaque del Norte: the Maguaca, the Guayubín, and the Indio. The Chacuey River and its tributary, the Macabón, are also part of the provincial basins, which complete numerous streams. The Montecristi province belongs to the Irrigation District called Bajo Yaque del Norte, with two different irrigation zones in it: Villa Vásquez and Las Matas de Santa Cruz. The first covers an area of approximately 179,733 tasks, and the second covers 320,672 tasks.

The Montecristi province has one of the most diverse and numerous systems of protected areas in the country, six in total, which include national parks, underwater national parks, wildlife refuges and scientific reserves.


People in town of Villa Vasquez, Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic.

The main activity of the province is agriculture, with important production of fruits and vegetables; in addition, the production of goats, sheep and cattle is important. On the coast, fishing and salt production are important.

Tourism development is currently concentrated in the city of Montecristi although there is potential along the entire coast, both western (Pepillo Salcedo) and north. Notable points are the Morro plateau and the Cayos Siete Hermanos.

Municipalities and municipal districts

Municipalities of Monte Cristi Province.

The province as of June 20, 2006 is divided into the following municipalities (municipios) and municipal districts (distrito municipal, D.M.) in them:[3]

The following is a sortable table of the municipalities and municipal districts with population figures as of the 2012 census. Urban population are those living in the seats (cabeceras literally heads) of municipalities or of municipal districts. Rural population are those living in the districts (secciones: sections) and neighborhoods (parajes: stops) outside of them.[4]

Name Total population Urban population Rural population
Castañuelas 14,878 4,005 10,873
Guayubín 32,586 5,899 26,687
Las Matas de Santa Cruz 18,756 9,515 9,241
Pepillo Salcedo 11,588 4,983 6,605
San Fernando de Monte Cristi 42,657 26,868 15,789
Villa Vásquez 15,245 12,191 3,054
Monte Cristi province 135,710 63,461 72,249

For comparison with the municipalities and municipal districts of other provinces see the list of municipalities and municipal districts of the Dominican Republic.

Notable people



  1. ^ "Municipios | Provincia Montecristi | República Dominicana" (in Spanish). 2024-01-17. Retrieved 2024-05-03.
  2. ^ "Montecristi". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2007-08-02.
  3. ^ Oficina Nacional de Estadistica, Departamento de Cartografia, Division de Limites y Linderos. "Listado de Codigos de Provincias, Municipio y Distritos Municipales, Actualizada a Junio 20 del 2006" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2007-03-14. Retrieved 2007-01-24.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Consejo Nacional de Población y Familia. "Censos y Proyecciones de la Población Dominicana por Regiones, Provincias, Municipios y Distritos Municipales, 2012" (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved 2012-01-11.[permanent dead link]